I asked this morning on Facebook and Twitter what, exactly, people with a “wait-and-see” attitude toward the Short-Fingered-Vulgarian-in-Chief needed to see in order to quit waiting and speak up. Most of the answers were along the lines that “He hasn’t done anything yet.” This, of course, the morning after he appointed the former publisher of Breitbart News (hell no I’m not linking to it) — a man who brags that he’s made White Supremacy mainstream again — to be his Chief Strategist and Senior Counsel. The other thing he’s done is appoint Reince Priebus, a man who can’t even take a principled stand on “i-before-e”, to be his Chief of Staff. You’ll recall that the whole purpose of this campaign, besides throwing out brown people who are here and killing selected ones who aren’t, was to “drain the swamp.” Guess what? He just appointed the swamp to be Chief of Staff. You know how this works, right? The Chief of Staff decides who sees the President and when. The Chief Strategist and Senior Counsel is the person the President goes to see when he feels like talking to someone. This after picking Mike “Pray the Gay Away” as his Vice-President and surrounding himself with failed-90s-politicians-also-on-their-third-marriages Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani as probable cabinet members. Ben Carson seems to be in the mix in there somewhere, but there’s always the chance with him he’s just confused about where he’s supposed to stand.
I ask again: what in the HELL does this man have to do in order for you to say you’re a little nervous?
You actually don’t need to answer that question because I already know the answer. There is nothing. You’ve already made your choice. You’re OK with all this. Not OK, exactly, but willing to let other people do the heavy lifting. Let someone else get their hands dirty. “Such and such will NEVER let him do so-and-so!” you say with confidence based on nothing other than the pressure on your sphincter from you praying you’re right. “I don’t have to say anything NOW because SOMEONE ELSE will stop them THEN!” Really? Why would they? I’m some faceless bureaucrat in the bowels of the government and some order comes down that is going to hurt a lot of people. Why does it fall on me to stop this? Who will know? Who cares? I’ve made my entire career giving my bosses what they want. Why should I stop now? It’s not like anyone cares, right? Nobody but a few cranks are talking about this, and no one takes them seriously anyway!
“Banality of evil.” Look it up. No matter who said it first, the idea that the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing is sound.Why? I think of it as the “Save the Planet” problem. Sounds good. Everyone has to be in favor of that , right? (I mean, except for the person we just elected President. Not him). Here’s the deal: The planet is going to be fine. It’s big. It has an atmosphere. Its been hit by big rocks and life came back. Not the same life, but it’s the same planet. For some reason we talk about the planet as if somehow it’s natural we’re here. It’s not. There was a time we weren’t here. There could easily be a time we’re not here and the planet will never even notice. It’ll be fine. People? That’s our choice.
So it is with institutions. The only reason institutions have power is because people give it to them. They don’t occur naturally. They only exist through voluntary participation. In Darkness Visible William Styron made the point that the fundamental choice someone makes every day is whether or not to live or die. So it is with institutions. We have to decide what we’re willing to accept in order for the institution to survive. The Founders made a choice. We think they made the choice for us, but they didn’t. We have to make the choice every single day. Is this thing worth maintaining the institution for? There will be people on the other side of that decision. There will be institutions. They just don’t have to be the same institutions we have now.
What’s the deal breaker for you? When do you start letting other people know that? Whose job is it to speak for you? When that bureaucrat has to make that call, what does she have to go on?
Years ago there was an ESPN promo where Keith Olbermann says about some ballplayer “He’s day-to-day. We’re all day-to-day.” So is our country. So are the institutions that make it what it is.
You do what you want. I don’t know what else to do. I’m speaking out for as long as I can.